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Without health, we have nothing. All the money in the world will not save our body if we treat our body with bad nutrition.

 

Crime against humanity: Toxic hog waste lagoons created by industrial farming practices

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/crime-toxic-hog-waste-3663.html

by:  | December 18, 2020

hog-waste(NaturalHealth365) North Carolina’s hog industry creates over 19,000 jobs and $10 billion annually for the state.  But pigs are a dirty business.  In fact, the state’s 9.5 million hogs produce over 10 billion gallons of waste, and the giant pink pools that dot the Tar Heel landscape – waste lagoons of untreated pig feces and urine – are not only a massive problem for the environment but a serious and life-threatening public health hazard.

Industrial waste lagoons can carry a toxic stew of E. coli, salmonella, cryptosporidium, and other dangerous bacteria.  When the lagoons overflow and floodwaters become mixed with waste, bacteria can flow into the rivers and streams or contaminate groundwater, which is the main source of drinking water for over three million North Carolinians.

Instead of installing alternatives to waste lagoons or implementing safer solutions to combat waste and pollution, North Carolina’s industrial farms want to profit from hog waste under the guise of “renewable energy.”

Toxic hog waste agenda: What are they really hiding from the public?

There are roughly 4,000 pig farm waste lagoons in the state of North Carolina. Under normal conditions, these lagoons produce noxious and dangerous gases.  Studies have shown that people living near these lagoons are at a greater risk of asthma, anemia, kidney disease, high-blood pressure, eye-irritation, diarrhea, depression, and certain cancers.

Now, Smithfield Foods wants to use the state’s hog waste lagoons to capture, transport, and sell the methane they produce. The proposed project, however, is a false solution, a corporate greenwash under the guise of “renewable energy.”

The $500 million joint venture with Dominion Energy, which includes creating industrial-sized biogas to cap the waste lagoons, capture the methane, and transport it through 30 miles of pipeline to a processing plant, is just another example of corporate greed at the expense of public health and the environment.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

The toxic dangers of methane capturing 

Methane capturing doesn’t eliminate the health risks to nearby communities. It not only produces a host of other pollutants, but according to Ryke Longest, the co-director of the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic at Duke University, “hundreds of other air and water pollutants remain uncaptured and are emitted untreated by the lagoon and sprayfield system to the environment and the communities which surround these facilities.”

The process of methane capturing also creates excessive concentrations of ammonia, which poses a high risk to those living in the area, especially if there are severe storms or spills (14 waste lagoons flooded in 2016 when Hurricane Matthew deluged North Carolina).

At North Carolina State University researchers have found several safer waste-disposal methods, including one that converts nitrogen in waste into harmless nitrogen gas and uses another process to eliminate harmful bacteria.

So why try to capture and sell waste lagoon methane at all, especially when there are safer and less toxic solutions to North Carolina’s waste lagoon issues?  Two words: corporate greed.

What can we do to combat corporate greed and the toxic crimes of industrial farming?

  • Support small, local and family-owned farms
  • Join community, grassroots cooperatives that support local agriculture
  • And, of course, buy organic – as much as possible

Together, we can make this world a better place and – never forget – our efforts really can make a difference.

Sources for this article include:

Theguardian.com

Can you do this in 90 seconds? If not, you may have heart health problems, NEW study

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/heart-health-workout-routine-3662.html
by:  | December 17, 2020

heart-health-test(NaturalHealth365) Looking for a super simple way to assess whether your heart health is okay or not?  A recent study suggests that a common daily activity – climbing stairs – could serve as a useful screening tool to better understand your cardiovascular health.

The study was conducted by a team of Spanish researchers and presented at this year’s Best of Imaging 2020, a scientific meeting of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).  Their results offer some helpful guidance to anyone looking to establish an effective heart healthy workout routine.

Get a stopwatch, find a staircase, and do this to access heart health, researchers say

Dr. Jesús Peteiro is a cardiologist at University Hospital A Coruña and the lead author of the study. He and his colleagues set out to find an inexpensive way to assess a person’s heart health that didn’t necessarily involve a trip to the doctor’s office.  This way, the researchers argue, doctors can quickly determine which patients need more extensive cardiac work-ups – potentially saving time, money, and resources.

They decided to compare the results of the “gold standard” heart health assessment – a treadmill test – to a simple measurement: how long it takes to climb four flights of stairs (60 steps total) at a fast pace without stopping.

To conduct the study, Dr. Peteiro and colleagues took 165 patients who were referred to the clinic for a treadmill test because they had a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of coronary artery disease.  First, each patient underwent the standard treadmill test.

By the way, if you’ve never done this before, you’re missing out on a doozy: you walk or run on a treadmill as the incline and speed gradually increase until you reach the point of exhaustion.  Sounds like fun … right?

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

Anyway, after about a 20-minute rest, the patients were then instructed to climb four flights of stairs quickly but without running.

The researchers then compared the relative energy expenditure of the treadmill test vs the stair climbing assessment for each patient using a metric known as metabolic equivalents, or METs.  Prior research has found that being able to exert higher energy expenditure (specifically, 10 METs) during exercise tests is associated with a lower risk of mortality.

In this study, it was found that patients who were able to climb the stairs in less than 45 seconds achieved between 9 to 10 METs. This is roughly equivalent to a mortality rate of 1 percent or less per year (10 percent in 10 years).

Conversely, patients who took more than 90 seconds to climb four flights of stairs achieved fewer than 8 METs.  According to available data, this is equivalent to a mortality rate of 2 to 4 percent per year (30 percent in 10 years).

The researchers also found that of the patients who took longer than 90 seconds to complete the stair climb, almost 60 percent demonstrated abnormal heart function during the treadmill test.  Meanwhile, just under a third of patients who climbed the stairs in less than one minute had abnormal heart function as determined on the treadmill test.

“If it takes you more than one-and-a-half minutes to ascend four flights of stairs, your health is suboptimal,” Dr. Peteiro explains in the press release, adding that such results would suggest it’s “a good idea to consult a doctor.”

Of course, conventionally-trained doctors are all too quick to recommend side-effect riddled medications to address heart health issues. Fortunately, you have plenty of effective and drug-free options.

Want a healthier heart?  Experts say these are the types of exercises you should include in your weekly workout routine

Stair climbing is a type of aerobic exercise proven to offer heart healthy benefits – and is free and easy to do. A 2019 research study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology even found that climbing three flights of stairs three times a day on just three days per week can increase your fitness level.

Other types of aerobic exercise known to improve heart health include brisk walking, hiking, tennis, cycling, and swimming. But don’t think your heart needs only cardio. According to Johns Hopkins, resistance training and stretching/balance work can also support heart healthy, either directly or indirectly.

Bottom line? Be sure to include all three types of exercise in your workout routine … and try taking the stairs more often.

Sources for this article include:

ScienceDaily.com
AceFitness.org
Hopkinsmedicine.org
StudyFinds.org
ESCardio.org
Journals.sagepub.com

Can Vaccines Alter a Child’s Health Trajectory?

© 16th December 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC.
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Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/can-vaccines-alter-child-s-health-trajectory-0
Posted on: Friday, December 4th 2020 at 11:30 am
Posted By: Kelly Brogan, M.D.


Originally published on www.kellybroganmd.com

by Rob Abbott, MD

The question embodied in the title of this article is one that has never fully escaped the weaves of my inquisitive mind. In medical training we are taught that vaccines prevent acute illness, thwarting sometimes life threatening infections by various microorganisms. Certainly, the prevention of a life-threatening infection is an alteration of a child’s health trajectory, but in what direction and to what end? Surely it would seem that the only possible health trajectory from the avoidance of an acute infection would be improved health, vitality and lessened suffering, but is this picture the actual reality that we face?

Do we actually possess immunotherapies such as vaccines that carry no risk and only propel children towards improved well-being, less medical intervention and less suffering?

The dominant medical narrative at this point in time shares that vaccines, as currently administered to youth, carry minimal risks and that they prevent “avoidable” deaths from infectious disease without a reciprocal increase in total suffering over the life of the child. Sadly, we do not yet have the data to fully support or refute this dominant medical narrative as there have been essentially no clinical studies completed to date that have rigorously compared the dynamic health trajectory of children following the most recent recommended vaccine schedule to those forgoing some or all vaccines altogether. We simply do not know.

As a clinician bearing witness to the greatest rise of chronic diseases in our youth that humanity has ever seen, how can you not become curious as to why?

The issue is complex and massively nuanced. Our environments are as toxic as ever and the average child’s diet is a nutrient deficient, pro-inflammatory dumpster fire. Social and family bonds seemingly carry more tension and trauma than love and the concept of outdoor play is being eroded from the fabric of our youth. The truth is that the rise of chronic diseases in youth is related to all of these factors and still more that we have yet not named, but not having all the answers can’t stop us from being curious, from looking for clues unearthed through courageous, scientific inquiry.

This past November, a landmark paper was released in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health by researcher James Lyons-Weiler and integrative pediatrician Paul Thomas as they themselves sought to answer the unavoidable question, “Can vaccines alter a child’s health trajectory?”

Perhaps at this point you have an answer yourself to this question. Perhaps you have a personal experience as a mother, a father, a medical provider or as the person yourself informing your beliefs. Perhaps you have read studies pointing to vaccine’s safety and others still pointing to their harms. Perhaps you have come to this article based on its title to seek an answer that you have not yet formed at all. No matter from whence you enter this explorative space, no matter your current beliefs or understanding of this topic, I gently invite you to let these beliefs, these narratives, this current understanding go.

I invite you to explore this summary of Weiler and Thomas’ recent vaccination study with “a beginner’s mind”, waiting until after this conscious exploration to integrate your understanding of their data and their conclusions into a new personal, working narrative. This invitation now I give you.

Study Overview

The researchers examined a total of 3324 pediatric patients who received care in an integrative pediatric practice over a 10 year period. Patients could be included in the study if they were seen within 60 days of birth (essentially born into the practice) and had a final visit at least after 60 days of life. (We will talk more about this key fact later!) No other restrictive inclusion or exclusion criteria were utilized.

  • 2763 received at least 1 vaccine (variably vaccinated group)
  • 561 received no vaccines (unvaccinated group)

Demographics of Patients

  • Both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients had extremely high breastfeeding rates nearing 97-98%
  • There was a statistically higher percentage of unvaccinated patients with a family history of autoimmunity (likely representing an informed choice by the parents/caregivers to have the child abstain from vaccines that could be a trigger for immune dysregulation.)
  • Similar percentage of males and female in both vaccinated and unvaccinated groups
  • Similar birthweight in both vaccinated and unvaccinated groups
  • Vaccinated patients on average received care for twice as long as the unvaccinated patients (the researchers called this Days of Care [DOC] and performed corrections/matching within their statistical analysis to correct for this as I will explain more later).

Vaccination Rates

There were markedly variable rates of vaccination in those receiving vaccines as depicted in Figure 2 in the study.

Key Study Questions

In an attempt to answer the question of whether vaccines change the health trajectory of children, the researchers employed four primary study measures.

Relative Incidence of Office Visits (RIOV)

The researchers looked at electronic medical record and billing data of patients to determine the number of patients who had an office visit associated with a specific diagnosis or disease state (ex. eczema). They wanted to know if vaccinated kids were more or less likely to have an office visit for nearly 20 separate conditions/health concerns as compared to unvaccinated kids.

Incidence of Disease

In addition to the RIOV analysis, the researchers also conducted a more standard incidence of disease analysis, essentially looking at the study groups, vaccinated and unvaccinated and seeing if there were a greater number of kids in either group developing any of the predetermined health conditions over the course of receiving care.

Diagnosed Infections Targeted by Vaccines

The researchers tracked the number of documented infections targeted by vaccines on the CDC schedule between the groups.

Cumulative Office Visit Risk

In addition to the relative incidence of office visits (RIOV) study measure mentioned earlier, the researchers also sought to look at the cumulative or total number of office visits between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients. Through this analysis, each office visit for a specific health condition, even if from the same patient, would be examined to better understand total health care utilization and potential suffering.

Statistical Analyses 

The statistical analyses utilized were fairly complex, and we will not go into great detail to explain them for the sake of this summary, however, I want to acknowledge the earlier noted difference at baseline between the vaccinated and unvaccinated children around total Days of Care (DOC) in the practice. Seeing that the unvaccinated children received care on average for half as long as the vaccinated children, the researchers conducted patient matching from the variably vaccinated group in order to make two groups (vaccinated and variably vaccinated) that had the same number of children (561) and the same average Days of Care. They then performed separate statistical analyses using both the unmatched (total) and matched groups.

Key Results

General 

  • No kids in the unvaccinated group were diagnosed with ADHD.
  • Rates of autism and developmental delay amidst the entire practice were not at high enough levels to find any significant signal for vaccines or no vaccines (incidence was below national averages).

Unmatched (Total Group) Analysis for Relative Incidence of Office Visits (RIOV)

  • There were marked trends for higher RIOV for nearly all of the diagnoses studied in the vaccinated group as compared to the unvaccinated group.
  • Amidst the vaccinated groups, there were marked trends for higher RIOV for those receiving a higher number of vaccines (more vaccines  = more office visits for a certain disease).

Note: See Figure 4 of the study for these graphs

Matched (Equal Size Groups) Analysis for Relative Incidence of Office Visits (RIOV)

  • The same trends noted in the “Total Group” analysis were seen in the matched analysis, with vaccinated kids having more office visits for nearly all of the diseases studied as compared to the unvaccinated group.
  • The only 2 conditions for which there were numerically more office visits in unvaccinated kids as compared to vaccinated kids were urticaria (hives) and dermatitis (skin irritation), but these were not statistically significant.

Unmatched (Total Group) Analysis for Incidence of Disease

  • Similar to the RIOV analysis, the researchers found higher levels of vaccinated patients being diagnosed with the specified diseases as compared to the unvaccinated patients.
  • As compared the the vaccinated group, the unvaccinated group had the greatest absolute decrease in risk for developing anemia (low hemoglobin), weight/eating disorders and respiratory infections. (no vaccines = significantly decreased risk for being diagnosed with anemia, weight/eating disorder and respiratory infections among many other conditions).

Diagnosed Infections Targeted by Vaccines

  • There were no deaths from any of the infections targeted by vaccines amongst the unvaccinated group (and vaccinated group). 
  • As depicted in Table 7 of the study (picture below), there were more cases of unvaccinated children getting pertussis and chickenpox (Varicella) than in vaccinated children.
  • No more than 6% of the unvaccinated group developed an infection targeted by vaccines and the overwhelming majority of cases were related to chickenpox.

Cumulative Office Visit Risk

Even after correcting for the difference in size between the unvaccinated and vaccinated groups, the researchers found staggering differences from the cumulative number of offices for specific diseases between the two groups, with the vaccinated patients accumulating markedly more office visits for all of the diseases studied including allergic, infectious and neuro-developmental conditions. Taken from Figure 5 of the study, the graphs shown below depict the number of office visits for patients related to various diagnoses across the lifetime of the patient in the practice. (note: the x-axis or horizontal axis of the graphs represents days of life, the y-axis or vertical axis represents the number of office visits).


Key Conclusions

This data inspires concern for the health trajectory of vaccinated children. As a family medicine resident, I saw significant “medical trauma” whereby children were constantly receiving medical care or going to office visits for chronic health maladies that seemingly had no cure. Generally attended by well-meaning and loving parents, these kids were stuck on a ferris wheel of conventional medical care. While it is impossible to universally quantify a child’s experience of medical care, discerning on their behalf what is felt as loving care versus “medical trauma,” I cannot help but conclude, from the data presented here,that the vaccinated children were sicker and experiencing more suffering from infectious, autoimmune and neurodevelopmental disorders than the unvaccinated children. Recognizing that this suffering would also be felt to some degree in the familial units, we can expand these graphs and hypothesize that the parents and siblings not even represented in this study were likely being negatively affected as well.

Looking more closely at the cumulative office visit graphs shared previously, another fascinating trend starts to stand out. Within the unvaccinated group, it appears that many of the health conditions examined in this study reach an asymptote around a thousand days of life or 3 years old. Essentially, the unvaccinated group reached a steady state of office visits for each condition studied around 3 years of age onward. When looking at the vaccinated group, however, you see very different trends. Generally speaking, for conditions that even reach an asymptote, the “leveling out” of office visits is markedly delayed until much later in life. In some cases/health conditions, the graphs depict a persistent rise in office visits without yet reaching an asymptote. If vaccines were actually making kids generally healthier wouldn’t we see at least comparable (or opposite) trends between the groups?

Study Limitations

Science is not perfect. It is simply one tool of curious inquiry. The study was limited by the fact that it involved children from one integrative pediatric practice. Understanding this fact, I would suggest that these kids received more holistic medical care at baseline and were part of more engaged, health-conscious family units than the average child. While this is certainly a study limitation, it also raises the question: would we see even worse health outcomes and medical care for vaccinated patients in average pediatric practices?

Additionally, some of the key neurologic conditions such as autism and developmental challenges were not present at high enough levels in the integrative pediatric practice as a whole to be able to see any significant signal with regards to vaccines or no vaccines. Larger studies with higher numbers of these conditions would help us to better understand how vaccines may be involved in changing the health trajectory of children in connection with these neurologic conditions.

Why Hasn’t This Been Seen Before?

Studying vaccines is remarkably controversial. Most of the studies performed by pharmaceutical companies only last months. Even retrospective studies look at a relatively narrow sliver of time. This study involved 10 years worth of pediatric patient care.

In addition to its length period of analysis, the study was also remarkably unique with regard to the origins of the patients themselves. They were born into the practice! While the children obviously came from different mothers and different households with an innumerable number of confounding variables, these patients were followed from as similar a starting place AND health trajectory as one may ever find in a research study.

What Can I Do?

So what are you thinking now? Do vaccines negatively change the health trajectory of children? I can’t give you a definitive answer to this question simply from one study or ever answer this question for you. I can only invite you to incorporate this new information into your current understanding of the role of vaccines in the health of our children as I take pause to wonder if we are messing up.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

The Remarkable Benefits of Low-Dose Naltrexone


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/11/29/low-dose-naltrexone-benefits.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola      Fact Checked      November 29, 2020

INTERVIEW WITH DR. SARAH ZIELSDORF AND LINDA ELSEGOOD:
Dr Mercola’s Video Interview
Download the Interview Transcript

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Low-dose naltrexone, an opiate antagonist, can benefit most autoimmune and chronic pain conditions
  • LDN is also being used as an adjunct for cancer. Research by professor Angus George Dalgleish and Dr. Wei Lou showed LDN could bring cancer cells into remission using pulsed dosing
  • When microdosed, LDN can help potentiate long-term users of opioids, allowing them to reduce their dependence and lower their required opioid dose
  • Naltrexone only briefly blocks the opioid receptor. Its chief clinical benefit is in the rebound effect, which includes an upregulation of your immune system and subsequent reduction in inflammation
  • Other conditions being treated with LDN include Lyme disease and its co-infections, fibromyalgia, SIBO, restless leg syndrome, depression, dermatological issues and even infertility

In this interview, we review some of the remarkable benefits of low-dose naltrexone (LDN), including the surprising benefits of microdosed LDN. The two experts featured in this interview are Linda Elsegood, a Briton who founded the LDN Research Trust1 in 2004, and Dr. Sarah Zielsdorf, who has a medical practice in the Chicago area in the U.S.

Elsegood, who was diagnosed with MS in 2000, has been involved in LDN research and public education for 16 years. LDN is a powerful, safe and effective treatment for many autoimmune diseases, yet few, including most health care professionals, know anything about it. Remarkably, LDN may even be helpful in the fight against COVID-19, as it acts to normalize your immune system.2

Elsegood recently published a book on LDN called “The LDN Book, Volume Two: The Latest Research on How Low Dose Naltrexone Could Revolutionize Treatment for PTSD, Pain, IBD, Lyme Disease, Dermatologic Conditions and More.” Each chapter is written by a medical professional with clinical knowledge of the drug’s use. Zielsdorf is one of the contributing authors. Elsegood also hosts a radio show called The LDN Radio Show.3

In the interview, she tells the story of how she discovered LDN and the dramatic benefits she has experienced from it. In summary, beneficial effects became apparent after about three weeks on the drug and, after 18 months, her condition had significantly improved.

We use LDN for nearly all autoimmune conditions, as an adjunct for cancer, and as a treatment for chronic pain. We also use ultra-low dose naltrexone to help potentiate pain relief for people who are on opioids and help them to be less dependent on opioid medications. ~ Dr. Sarah Zielsdorf

Zielsdorf — who has an undergraduate degree in microbiology and a master’s degree in public health microbiology and emerging infectious disease — also has a personal health story that brought her to LDN. She was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) in 2003. Ten years later, she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid.

“I learned about functional nutrition and triggers for autoimmunity, and started to do all of the things I needed to do to optimize my biomarkers, remove systemic inflammation, and was able to return to my [medical] training. I had been told that I could never have children and surprisingly became pregnant and had a daughter in my second year of training.

After having her, I [had a flareup]. It was then, in 2014, that a doctor put me on LDN. It changed my life … Once I graduated from residency, I started treating patients with a variety of issues with LDN. I’ve treated thousands of patients with LDN.”

Naltrexone — A Rare Gem of a Drug

Naltrexone in low or even microdoses is one of the few pharmaceutical drugs I wholeheartedly endorse. Not only is it remarkably safe, it’s also a profound adjunctive therapy for a wide variety of conditions. As explained by Zielsdorf:

“Naltrexone is one of the few things that actually enables our own bodies, our own immune systems, to be able to function better and really restore function.

After World War II, they were looking for more opioid medications. By accident, scientists figured out how to block the opioid receptor. They did the exact opposite of what they were supposed to do, which is to find morphine analogs for soldiers.

[In] the 1960s, they were able to synthesize naloxone and naltrexone … FDA approved it in the 1980s for opioid addiction at a dose of 50 to 100 milligrams, and then in the 1990s for alcohol dependence.

But it was Dr. Bernard Bihari and Dr. Ian Zagon in the 1970s that had this amazing idea that if you took a very small dose of naltrexone, compounding it in a clean way [down] to a few milligrams, if would briefly block the opioid receptor in the central nervous system — very briefly kissing that receptor and then unblocking it.

This upregulates the body’s immune system by increasing the opioid receptor’s own production of beta-endorphin and met-enkephalins. Beta-endorphins help with mood, pain, sleep and the immune system, and met-enkephalins are also known as opioid-derived growth factor, and there are receptors for these on many different tissues, including the thyroid.

We now use it for nearly all autoimmune conditions, as an adjunct for cancer, and as a treatment for chronic pain. We also use ultra-low dose [microdosed] naltrexone, which I wrote about, to help potentiate pain relief for people who are on opioids and help them to be less dependent on opioid medications.

I’ve actually been able to get patients off of fentanyl patches and get them off chronic oxycodone or Norco use where their pain specialists said, ‘You will never ever get off these pain medications.’ It’s been an incredible journey and I’m a huge advocate of it.”

Naloxone Versus Naltrexone

Naloxone (Narcan) is what is carried on ambulances and used in ERs and trauma bays as an antidote to an opioid overdose. When given at a high enough dose, naloxone or Narcan acts as a complete opioid blocker, which is why it’s used acutely when someone has taken too high a dose of an opioid.

Naltrexone blocks the opioid receptor only briefly, and by a different mechanism. When used in low dosages as LDN, the chief benefit is actually in the rebound effect, after the opioid receptor has been briefly blocked.

Foundational Treatment Strategies for Autoimmune Diseases

With regard to autoimmune diseases, it’s important to realize there are other, equally important, foundational strategies that will benefit most patients with a dysfunctional immune system. These include optimizing your vitamin D level and omega-3 index, for example.

It’s also important to eliminate potential triggers. The reason why people have an autoimmune disease is because they’re exposed to something in the environment which serves as an antigen that their body recognizes as a foreign invader, and as a result attacks it. If you can avoid those antigens, you can often suppress and frequently eliminate symptoms without anything, because you’ve removed the stimulus.

One common autoimmune trigger is lectins, found in many otherwise healthy vegetables. Zielsdorf will typically place her autoimmune patients on a Mediterranean-style paleo diet or an oligoantigenic elimination diet to optimize detoxification, liver and kidney function, and the microbiome.

Others may be placed on a nose-to-tail carnivore diet. As noted by Zielsdorf, it’s “a way of offloading and simplifying what antigens the body is seeing.” Other helpful diets in this respect include the autoimmune paleo diet and the low-histamine or low FODMAP diet.

“I am a microbiologist and I do a ton of advanced testing, and then we start looking deeper at triggers,” she says. “I used to put everybody on LDN first, but now we know that certain patients will flair because their immune system is so suppressed due to co-infections.

We see it most with Lyme disease and with yeast overgrowth. If I suspect or I have tests confirming that a patient has one of these things, or their immune system is super suppressed … I’ll work on their microbiome before I start LDN …

I test everybody’s gut, and what I see universally is you get this hyper intense intestinal permeability in these cases … What’s so interesting is a leaky gut equals a leaky brain, and we overwhelm our immune system. I do see this. The first step is getting them off the most common triggers, and sometimes I’ll be testing for lectins too.

Universally, for all of my autoimmune patients, is that they can’t eat wheat. There are over 150 antigens in wheat that you can be sensitive to … It is also desiccated with Roundup, glyphosate, right before processing, so we get that extra toxicity. I test my patients for their environmental toxic load, and I see a lot of patients with glyphosate toxicity.

The wheat that we used to eat 10,000 years ago at the beginning of agriculture is not the wheat [we now eat]. It’s not even the same chromosome number as what our bodies ate in small amounts as hunter gatherers.”

Why You Should Avoid Monogastric Animal Meats

As mentioned by Zielsdorf, a nose-to-tail carnivore diet can be an excellent intervention in some cases, especially for those whose immune function is severely suppressed. However, you should avoid monogastric animals, meaning animals that have only one stomach.

Whereas cows have two, chickens and pigs have only one. The reason for this recommendation is because conventionally factory farmed chicken and pork will be very high in the omega-6 fat linoleic acid. This is because they are typically fed corn, which is high in this type of fat. And a high linolenic acid diet can metabolically devastate your health. So, a diet high in chicken and bacon is not doing your body any favors.

Animals with two stomachs are able to fully process omega-6-rich grains and other foods, as they are equipped with gut bacteria that can break it down into a healthier fat. Aside from cows and steer, this includes buffalo, beef and lamb.

What Can LDN Treat?

Aside from autoimmune diseases, LDN is also used in the treatment of the following conditions. Bear in mind this is not a complete list. Some of these conditions have been featured in various documentaries4 produced by the LDN Research Trust. You can find links to those documentaries in the references.

Cancer5 — Research by professor Angus George Dalgleish and his colleague Dr. Wei Lou showed LDN could bring cancer cells into remission using pulse dosing.6 LDN also works synergistically with cannabidiol (CBD), and works well for cancer, autoimmunity and pain conditions
Opioid addiction, dependence and recovery7 — Using microdoses of 0.001 milligrams (1 microgram), long-term users of opioids who have developed a tolerance to the drug are able to, over time, lower their opioid dose and avoid withdrawal symptoms as the LDN makes the opioid more effective.

For opioid dependence, the typical starting dose is 1 microgram twice a day, which will allow them to lower their opioid dose by about 60%. When the opioid is taken for pain, the LDN must be taken four to six hours apart from the opioid in order to not displace the opioid’s effects

Lyme disease and its coinfections8
Fibromyalgia
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
Restless leg syndrome
Depression
Dermatological issues
Infertility

General Dosing Guidelines

Dosing will, of course, depend on the condition being treated, but there are some general guidelines that can be helpful. Downloadable guides can be found on the LDN Research Trust site, and are available in several languages. Keep in mind that LDN is a drug, not something you can buy over the counter, and you need to work with a knowledgeable physician who can prescribe it and monitor your health.

“With a general pain condition, we may use 1.5 to 3 or 4.5 mg. With Hashimoto’s, we start lower and slower because patients with Hashimoto’s may actually have to reduce their thyroid hormone medication if they’re on it because they get reduction of that inflammation and they can produce more of their own thyroid hormone. So, we usually start at 0.5 mg.

For patients with mood conditions … 0.5 to 1 mg. There was an important paper that came out showing LDN is an important agent for depression, for patients who fail those meds or as an adjunct to antidepressants. PTSD patients may have to go higher. There are all sorts of strategies and you just need to find a doctor who’s well-versed in that condition.”

More Information

The LDN Research Trust’s website is an excellent resource for all things LDN. It has a variety of resources to guide patients, prescribing doctors and pharmacists alike. It also has a page where you can find LDN-literate prescribers around the world.

Of course, to learn more, be sure to pick up a copy of “The LDN Book, Volume Two: The Latest Research on How Low Dose Naltrexone Could Revolutionize Treatment for PTSD, Pain, IBD, Lyme Disease, Dermatologic Conditions and More,” and/or “The LDN Book: How a Little-Known Generic Drug ― Low Dose Naltrexone ― Could Revolutionize Treatment for Autoimmune Diseases, Cancer, Autism, Depression and More,” which is the first of the two volumes.

Both books are also available on the LDN Research Trust website, along with videos featuring all of the doctors that contributed chapters to the books. You can also check out The LDN Radio Show.9 Last but not least, LDN Research Trust is a nonprofit that depends on public donations, so if you would like to contribute to the Trust’s LDN research and education efforts, please make a donation.

Practicing Gratitude During COVID-19 Pandemic


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/11/26/thanksgiving-in-2020.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola        Fact Checked        November 26, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • To say 2020 has been a challenging year for most of us is a profoundly serious understatement. While it’s easy to fall into quiet despair, now might actually be the best time to cultivate positive mental health habits such as gratitude
  • Paradoxically, suffering can yield a grateful heart, if approached with care and mindfulness
  • Enhancing your well-being can be as simple as taking some time each day to reflect on what you’re thankful for. A simple and proven way of doing this is to keep a gratitude journal
  • If for whatever reason you cannot join your near and dear ones this Thanksgiving, consider making good use of technology. Instead of a text or a phone call, you could use Facetime or Zoom for a virtual face-to-face
  • You could even set up a monitor at the end of the table and patch in family members virtually so you can talk while sharing your Thanksgiving meal in separate quarters

To say that 2020 has been a challenging year for most of us is a profoundly serious understatement. While it’s easy to fall into quiet despair, now might actually be the best time to cultivate positive mental health habits, one of them being gratitude.

Paradoxically, suffering can yield a grateful heart, if approached with care and mindfulness. As reported by CNN Health:1

“In his 1994 book, ‘A Whole New Life,’ Duke University English professor Reynolds Price describes how his battle with a spinal cord tumor that left him partially paralyzed also taught him a great deal about what it means to really live.

After surgery, Price describes ‘a kind of stunned beatitude.’ With time, though diminished in many ways by his tumor and its treatment, he learns to pay closer attention to the world around him and those who populate it

A brush with death can open our eyes. Some of us emerge with a deepened appreciation for the preciousness of each day, a clearer sense of our real priorities and a renewed commitment to celebrating life. In short, we can become more grateful, and more alive, than ever.

Inspirational speaker and YouTube sensation Claire Wineland also embodied this truth. This lovely young woman died in 2018 at the age of 21 from a massive stroke following an otherwise successful lung transplant.2 Born with cystic fibrosis — a progressive and terminal genetic disease — she spent the bulk of her short life inspiring people to “love what is,”3 to love every breath; to not waste life and to make a life that matters.

Start a Gratitude Journal

Enhancing your well-being can be as simple as taking some time each day to reflect on what you’re thankful for. A simple and proven way of doing this is to keep a gratitude journal.4

In one study,5 participants who kept a gratitude diary and reflected on what they were grateful for just four times a week for three weeks improved their depression, stress and happiness scores. In another study, people who kept a gratitude journal reported exercising more and had fewer visits to the doctor.6,7 Indeed, there’s an entire field of study looking at the health benefits of gratitude.

For example, studies have shown it helps regulate stress by stimulating your hypothalamus and ventral tegmental area.8 It also improves your sleep,9 heart health10 and immune function,11 and boosts mental health by triggering the release of antidepressant and mood-regulating chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and oxytocin.

Gratitude, or a generous attitude, is also neurally linked with happiness.12 Strengthen one and you automatically boost the other.

Save Not for Tomorrow the Joy You Can Feel Today

Thanksgiving Day is, of course, “the” day of the year when thoughts of gratitude linger in the minds of most Americans. Hopefully, you are spending this day with family and friends.

While many areas have issued pandemic restrictions for the holidays, banning large indoor gatherings and so on, I hope the plans you’ve made are the result of your own conscience rather than fear of breaking some tyrannical rule (which the government leaders are likely to ignore themselves).

As I noted in “How Would You Prefer to Spend Your Last Holiday Season?” we don’t know how much time we have left, and for an untold number of people, this Thanksgiving will be their last. For most, relationships and human connection are the most valuable parts of life, and if “staying safe” means forfeiting that which matters most, what are we trying to save?

If for whatever reason you cannot join your near and dear ones, consider making good use of technology. Instead of a text or a phone call, you could use Facetime or Zoom for a virtual face-to-face. You could even set up a monitor at the end of the table and patch in family members virtually so you can talk while sharing your Thanksgiving meal in separate quarters.

What I’m Grateful for Right Now

I have much to be thankful for as I look back on this remarkable year, including my awesome staff, without whom this website would not be what it is. There are many editors, customer support, an IT tech team and great managers and administrators that make all of this possible.

You, my readers, are also at the top of this list. With censorship gripping us ever more tightly, we would not be able to get the news out without you. Since mid-2019, GoogleTwitter and YouTube have all censored or outright banned nearly all of our articles and videos, forcing us to rely on you to share the information within your private networks.

Thank you for subscribing and forwarding these articles to others. It’s less convenient than it was before, which makes me all the more grateful that so many of you are taking the time and making the effort. One person, one share at a time, we are making an impact.

I often receive notes of thanks from readers, some of which are featured in the video above. Knowing that people are turning their lives around and regaining their health brings me great joy and satisfaction. My search for optimal health has been a lifelong journey, and I am thankful for all who walk this less-trodden path with me.

So many people struggle needlessly, having been fooled by the food and drug industries deceptive propaganda that, for decades have pointed everyone in the wrong direction. Today, more than ever, people are being misled by the technocratic propaganda machine that seeks to eliminate our freedoms in every respect.

Together, we are making a difference though. While it’s certainly true that we still have a long way to go, in time, I believe truth and sanity will prevail. We just have to maintain a positive attitude and keep going, keep searching for the truth, and share it when we find it.

Tap Your Way to Gratitude

If the daily news steers your mind in unproductive circles and stirs your anxiety, consider unplugging and taking a holiday from it. The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can also be a helpful tool if you struggle with pessimism.

EFT is a form of psychological acupressure based on the energy meridians used in acupuncture. It’s an effective way to quickly restore your inner balance and healing and helps rid your mind of negative thoughts and emotions. In the video above, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman demonstrates how to tap for gratitude.

Practical Strategies to Strengthen Your Gratitude

Aside from EFT and journaling, there are many other strategies that can help you flex your gratitude muscle. Following are a diverse array of practices, recommended by various experts and researchers,13 that can boost your gratitude quotient. Pick one or more that appeal to you, and make a point to work it into your daily or weekly schedule.

If you like, conduct your own little experiment: Write down your current level of happiness and life satisfaction on a piece of paper or your annual calendar, using a rating system of zero to 10. Every three months or so (provided you’ve actually been doing your gratitude exercise), re-evaluate and re-rank yourself.

Write thank-you notes14 — Make it a point to write thank-you notes or letters in response to each gift or kind act — or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being in your life. Verbalize your recognition of the effort or cost involved and be specific.
Say grace at each meal — Adopting the ritual of saying grace at each meal is a great way to practice gratitude on a daily basis,15 and will also foster a deeper connection to your food. You don’t have to turn it into a religious speech if you don’t want to. You could simply say, “I am grateful for this food, and appreciate all the time and hard work that went into its production, transportation and preparation.”
Let go of negativity by changing your perception — Disappointment — especially if you’re frequently struggling with things “not going your way” — can be a major source of stress. Since stress is virtually unavoidable, the key is to develop and strengthen your ability to manage your stress so that it doesn’t wear you down over time.

Rather than dwelling on negative events, learn to let things go. A foundational principle to let go of negativity is the realization that the way you feel has little to do with the event itself, and everything to do with your perception of it. Wisdom of the ancients dictate that events are neither good nor bad in and of themselves. It is your belief about the event that upsets you, not the fact that it happened.

As noted by Ryan Holiday, author of “The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living,”16 “The Stoics are saying, ‘This happened to me,’ is not the same as, ‘This happened to me and that’s bad.’ They’re saying if you stop at the first part, you will be much more resilient and much more able to make some good out of anything that happens.”

Be mindful of nonverbal actions — Smiling and hugging are both ways of expressing gratitude, encouragement, excitement, empathy and support. These physical actions also help strengthen your inner experience of positive emotions.
Give praise — Research17 shows that using “other-praising” phrases are far more effective than “self-beneficial” phrases. For example, praising a partner saying, “thank you for going out of your way to do this,” is more powerful than a compliment framed in terms of how you benefited. Also, be mindful of your delivery — say it like you mean it. Establishing eye contact is another tactic that helps you show your sincerity.
Prayer and/or mindfulness meditation — Expressing thanks during prayer or meditation is another way to cultivate gratitude. Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now. A mantra is sometimes used to help maintain focus, but you can also focus on something that you’re grateful for, such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze or a lovely memory.
Create a nightly gratitude ritual — One suggestion is to create a gratitude jar,18 into which the entire family can add notes of gratitude on a daily basis. Simply write a quick note on a small slip of paper and put it into the jar. Some make an annual (or biannual or even monthly) event out of going through the whole jar, reading each slip out loud.
Spend money on activities instead of things — According to research,19 spending money on experiences generates more gratitude than material consumption.
Embrace the idea of having “enough” — According to many who have embraced a more minimalist lifestyle, happiness is learning to appreciate and be grateful for having “enough.” When you buy less, you tend to appreciate each item more. The key here is deciding what “enough” is.

Consumption itself is not the problem; unchecked and unnecessary shopping is. Make an effort to identify your real, authentic emotional and spiritual needs, and then focus on fulfilling them in ways that does not involve material accumulation.

Four Top Health Benefits of Pumpkin

© 26th November 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC.
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Reproduced from original article:
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Posted on: Tuesday, November 24th 2020 at 10:15 am
Written By: GreenMedInfo Research Group
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020


More than just a celebrated autumn fruit, pumpkin provides a wealth of health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases, facilitating wound healing and providing cardiovascular protection

Pumpkin is popularly known as a Halloween decoration or a delicious Thanksgiving pie. Yet it’s more than just a symbol of these annual festivities — it offers a bounty of health benefits that have been celebrated for centuries.

Pumpkin, a type of winter squash, is part of the Cucurbitaceae family. It’s native to North America and in the U.S. is sometimes referred to as Cucurbita pepo.[i] One of the fascinating benefits of pumpkin is its rich beta-carotene content. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid and antioxidant, a natural plant compound that gives pumpkin its bright orange color.[ii]

Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have developed an eco-friendly way to measure beta-carotene and other carotenoids found in pumpkin, showing that pumpkin contains more beta-carotene than many other foods found in your pantry.[iii] The human body can naturally convert beta-carotene into vitamin A, which promotes vision and skin health, among many perks.

In a 2019 clinical trial conducted by the National Eye Institute called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), high doses of beta-carotene along with vitamins C and E were linked to a significantly reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration.[iv] Here’s a rundown of additional wondrous benefits of pumpkin for well-being.

1. Anticancer Effects

A 2016 study suggested that a diet rich in beta-carotene can help suppress prostate cancer tumors.[v] A cross-sectional study done on a Japanese population in 2014 also showed that beta-carotene can slow the development of colon cancer. In a separate animal study, pumpkin seed was found to reduce the risk of colon cancer when consumed in dietary proportions.[vi]

Pumpkin seed extract also had growth inhibition effects on benign prostate hyperplasia, also known as prostate gland enlargement, and some cancer cell lines, such as prostate, breast and colon.[vii]

2. Diabetes Support

Research published in 2010 concluded that a mixture of flax and pumpkin seeds supplemented in the diet of diabetic rats may assist in preventing diabetes and its complications.[viii]

In a more recent study, published in 2019, a combination of two plant extracts — one of which was pumpkin polysaccharides — pushed down blood sugar levels in animal models.[ix] While further human trials may be needed, the study demonstrated the plant compounds’ potential to successfully manage Type 2 diabetes.

3. Wound Healing

Pumpkin seed oil has been tested for wound healing due to its known properties that may aid treatment. Results from one study showed that cold-pressed, excellent-quality pumpkin oil, which has a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols and sterols, promoted efficient wound healing in rats.[x]

4. Heart Health and Blood Pressure Regulation

According to a 2017 study involving 2,722 participants, consuming plenty of potassium is an important step to maintaining healthy blood pressure.[xi] Pumpkin is high in potassium, containing 394 milligrams per cup.[xii]

Other research revealed that pumpkin seed oil led to beneficial effects when administered along with an ACE-inhibitor and calcium-channel blocker in treating high blood pressure.[xiii] Consistent with other outcomes is the conclusion of a 2012 study showing that pumpkin seed oil exhibits antihypertensive and heart-protective effects.[xiv] The mechanism may involve the generation of nitric oxide.

In female rats in a different study, supplementing with pumpkin seed oil also improved lipid profile and cardiovascular outcomes, specifically lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressures.[xv]

For more health benefits of this often underappreciated squash, check out our pumpkin research database.

 

 


References

[i] Rahman M et al Prophetic vegetable Pumpkin, Its impressive health benefits and total analysis” Bioscience Research. 2019;16(4):3987-3999.

[ii] USDA.gov https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2019/10/08/pumped-pumpkin#:~:text=Did%20you%20know%20pumpkin%20is,their%20beautiful%20bright%20orange%20hue.

[iii] USDA.gov https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2019/10/08/pumped-pumpkin#:~:text=Did%20you%20know%20pumpkin%20is,their%20beautiful%20bright%20orange%20hue.

[iv] AREDS https://www.nei.nih.gov/research/clinical-trials/age-related-eye-disease-studies-aredsareds2

[v] Gong X et al “Mitochondrial β-Carotene 9′,10′ Oxygenase Modulates Prostate Cancer Growth via NF-κB Inhibition: A Lycopene-Independent Function” Mol Cancer Res. 2016;14(10).

[vi] Chari K et al “An Appraisal of Pumpkin Seed Extract in 1, 2-Dimethylhydrazine Induced Colon Cancer in Wistar Rats” J Toxicol. 2018 ;2018:6086490. Epub 2018 Sep 2.

[vii] Medjakovic S et al “Pumpkin seed extract: Cell growth inhibition of hyperplastic and cancer cells, independent of steroid hormone receptors” Fitoterapia. 2016 Apr ;110:150-6. Epub 2016 Mar 11.

[viii] Makni M et al “Flax and Pumpkin seeds mixture ameliorates diabetic nephropathy in rats” Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Aug-Sep;48(8-9):2407-12. Epub 2010 Jun 4.

[ix] Chen X et al “Synergistic Hypoglycemic Effects of Pumpkin Polysaccharides and Puerarin on Type II Diabetes Mellitus Mice” Molecules. 2019 Mar; 24(5): 955. Epub 2019 Mar 8.

[x] Bardaa S et al “Oil from pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seeds: evaluation of its functional properties on wound healing in rats” Lipids Health Dis. 2016 ;15(1):73. Epub 2016 Apr 11.

[xi] Ware L et al “Associations between dietary salt, potassium and blood pressure in South African adults: WHO SAGE Wave 2 Salt & Tobacco” Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2017 Sep;27(9):784-791. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2017.06.017. Epub 2017 Jul 8.

[xii] USDA, Pumpkin https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168448/nutrients

[xiii] Zuhair H et al “Pumpkin-seed oil modulates the effect of felodipine and captopril in spontaneously hypertensive rats” Pharmacol Res. 2000 May;41(5):555-63.

[xiv] El-Mosallamy A et al “Antihypertensive and cardioprotective effects of pumpkin seed oil” J Med Food. 2012 Feb ;15(2):180-9. Epub 2011 Nov 14.

[xv] Gossell-Williams M et al “Supplementation with pumpkin seed oil improves plasma lipid profile and cardiovascular outcomes of female non-ovariectomized and ovariectomized Sprague-Dawley rats” Phytother Res. 2008 Jul;22(7):873-7.

 

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Chronic Use of Heartburn Prescriptions Can Cause Diabetes


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/10/21/can-ppis-cause-diabetes.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola     Fact Checked     October 21, 2020

can ppis cause diabetes

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Chronic use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for the treatment of heartburn is associated with a 24% increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes
  • PPIs may also increase the risk of weight gain, stomach cancer, chronic kidney disease, and a host of other problems
  • Alternative over-the-counter drugs, plus other prescription medications, were recalled after they were found positive for a carcinogen once used in rocket fuel
  • Consider a simple test as a rough indicator of how much acid your stomach produces, and take steps to heal your stomach and heartburn without hazardous drugs

Heartburn is one of the primary symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It feels like a burning sensation behind the breastbone, which can move to the neck and throat. Sometimes you may also taste a sour, bitter fluid, which is the regurgitation of stomach acid from your esophagus.1 Some individuals with GERD may also have other symptoms such as asthma, cough and laryngitis.

GERD is a common problem with an increasing prevalence in the general population. Traditionally, the incidence was higher in middle-aged and older adults.2 However, there recently has been a rise in the number of younger people (30 to 39 years) who are seeking medical care for GERD.

The severity of heartburn appears to correspond with major life stressors. Researchers have not found that severity increases with fluctuations in mood but rather from sustained stress, which exacerbates heartburn symptoms.3

The current pandemic has raised the stress levels of many people who are filling more antianxiety, antidepressant and anti-insomnia medications than in the same period in 2019. The increase in prescriptions represents a sharp difference from the decline in antianxiety and anti-insomnia medications prescribed from 2015 to 2019.4 The authors of the report noted:

“This analysis, showing that many Americans are turning to medications for relief, demonstrates the serious impact COVID-19 may be having on our nation’s mental health.”

Heartburn Medication Associated With Diabetes

Long term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) to control heartburn, such as Nexium, Prevacid or Prilosec, has been linked with significant health conditions. The authors of a recent study published in the BMJ journal Gut sought to evaluate the association between regular use of PPIs and Type 2 diabetes.5

They undertook a prospective analysis of 204,689 people enrolled in three ongoing studies, including the Nurses’ Health Study. In this cohort they found 10,105 cases of diabetes. People who regularly took a PPI had a 24% increased risk compared to nonusers.

The researchers found that regular use raised an individual’s risk of Type 2 diabetes and the risk grew with the length of time an individual took the medication. They concluded that “Physicians should therefore exercise caution when prescribing PPIs, particularly for long-term use.”6

There is evidence that PPIs alter the gut microbiome, which may trigger an association with Type 2 diabetes. In one study of 1,827 healthy twins, researchers found that PPI use was associated with a lower number of gut microbiota and lower microbial diversity.7

Researchers leading a separate study found that oral microbiota were over-represented in fecal microbiomes of people who used PPIs consistent “with changes towards a less healthy gut microbiome.” These changes are also in line with “known changes that predispose to C. difficile infections and can potentially explain the increased risk of enteric infections in PPI users.”8

Additionally, PPIs may increase the risk of “weight gain, chronic liver disease and metabolic syndrome.”9 Each of these conditions can increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes.

As pointed out in Medpage Today, there were limitations to the PPI-diabetes study as it was observational and the researchers could not exclude other confounding effects, such as PPI dosage, frequency and brand. Study authors were cited in the Medpage Today article as saying:10

“At a population level, PPIs may have an even more pronounced effect on gut microbiome than other commonly used drugs such as antibiotics, leading to warnings of overuse of PPIs and calls for further investigation into the sequelae of long-term PPI consumption.”

Alternative Over-the-Counter Medications Contaminated

In addition to prescription PPIs, there are over-the-counter medications for treating heartburn. Two of the medications, Zantac and Axid, have tested positive for the carcinogenic N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) once used in the commercial production of rocket fuel.11

The results from animal testing showed that it significantly increases the risk of cancer, so the chemical is now used only for research purposes. In February 2020, the heartburn drugs and others were recalled due to contamination with NDMA.12,13 Since the compound may be absorbed from the environment, food, tobacco or medications, the FDA established an acceptable intake level of 96 nanograms per day.

As a comparison, this is 0.000096 of 1 milligram (mg) and a grain of salt is about 1 mg.14 One lot of recalled high blood pressure medication valsartan tested at 200 times this limit.15 Disturbingly, the authors of a 2019 report in Bloomberg suggested the contamination may have been the result of prioritizing profitability over quality testing and streamlining manufacturing methods.16

However, this isn’t the first time carcinogens like NDMA have gotten into the generic drug supply, which raises serious questions about the FDA’s ability to ensure drug safety. As reported by Bloomberg, one of the blood pressure medications contained as much as 17 micrograms per pill, which is estimated by European health regulators to trigger cancer in 1 in every 3,390 people.

Disturbingly, a lax FDA approach to inspections that reveal faked quality testing is not unusual. Bloomberg spoke to Michael de la Torre, who runs a database of FDA inspections.

According to Torre, in the five years up to 2019, the FDA issued warning letters in response to faked data just 25% of the time. The bottom line is, this exposure resulted largely from a reliance on drugs for a symptomatic bandage that in no way treats the cause of the disease.

List of Dangers but No Special Monitoring for Long-Term Use

As I’ve written before, PPIs are linked to several negative health conditions. For example, long term use of proton pump inhibitors encourages bacterial overgrowth in your digestive tract,17 leading to the malabsorption of nutrients linked to inflammation of the stomach wall.18

PPIs also reduce the absorption of magnesium.19 Low magnesium levels can lead to nausea, fatigue, muscle contractions, personality changes and an abnormal heart rhythm.20 By reducing the amount of stomach acid,21 PPIs increase your risk of heartburn, indigestion, bloating, diarrhea and gas.

Lowering your stomach acid may also reduce the amount of calcium absorption, which can lead to osteoporosis.22 Research data has linked long-term, dose-dependent use with an increased risk of hip fracture.23

As described in a JAMA article, scientists speculate the rising number of people diagnosed with chronic kidney disease may be attributed to the increased number of people using PPIs.24 Lead author Benjamin Lazarus, from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, comments:25

“Study findings suggest that up to 70% of these prescriptions are without indication and that 25% of long-term PPI users could discontinue therapy without developing symptoms. Indeed, there are already calls for the reduction of unnecessary use of PPIs.”

Your risk of stomach cancer also more than doubles when you take PPIs. Researchers factored in the potential role that infection might play in the development of stomach cancer and found those who took PPIs every day had 4.5 times the risk of stomach cancers as those who took the drug once a week.26

Each of these health conditions are potential long-term risks. However, in a recent study of 86,602 respondents, researchers found people taking a PPI twice a day had four times the risk of those who did not take the drugs.27,28

There are those who are not yet convinced that the use of PPIs comes with dangerous adverse effects. Dr. Daniel Freedberg from Columbia University, who was not involved in the study, spoke with Medpage and called the results “very weak.”

Despite mounting scientific evidence that the drugs cause significant and potentially dangerous side effects, Freedberg points out that the medical association that develops clinical guidelines, the American Gastroenterological Association, has not advised monitoring patients using long-term PPIs for adverse side effects and the current study is unlikely to change the status quo.29

What Causes Heartburn?

Digestion of your food begins in your mouth as the food is broken into smaller pieces and mixed with saliva. Once in the stomach, food mixes with hydrochloric acid30 and moves into the small intestine. Inside the stomach there is a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter that prevents food or acid from moving back up.31

When this sphincter relaxes inappropriately it allows acid to reflux into the esophagus and burn tissue that cannot withstand the low pH. As I’ve written, in extremely rare situations, acid reflux is caused by an excessive amount of acid in the stomach. However, in the vast majority of cases acid reflux, heartburn and GERD are related to:

  • Insufficient stomach acid32
  • Helicobacter pylori imbalance33
  • Hiatal hernia34
  • Food allergies35

Consider this simple test as a rough indicator of how much acid your stomach produces. By finding out if your stomach acid level is low it will help you develop a plan to reduce your chronic pain.

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of cold water and drink it first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking anything. The combination of baking soda and hydrochloric acid in your stomach creates carbon dioxide gas, causing you to belch.36
  2. Time how long it takes you to form enough gas in your stomach to belch. Belching in two to three minutes is normal; earlier and repeated belching indicates an excess of acid. If you don’t belch after five minutes, you may not be producing enough acid.

More accurate testing involves taking a stool sample to determine whether you might have an enzyme and/or hydrochloric acid deficiency.37 It could also identify bacterial or fungal imbalances that might contribute to your condition.

Steps to Heal GERD and Avoid Heartburn

Research has also shown that both sauerkraut and cabbage juice can stimulate your body to produce stomach acid.38 Using fermented juice from raw sauerkraut before your meal helps to naturally balance and nourish your gut with valuable bacteria and improve your digestion.

Reseeding your gut with beneficial bacteria not only helps balance your bowel flora but helps reduce or eliminate helicobacter naturally. Fermented foods and high-quality probiotic supplements help achieve these goals.

It is important to be aware that lectin-rich foods, such as grains and legumes, are potent enzyme inhibitors.39 This may reduce the function of your digestive system and produce or exacerbate heartburn.

Address Heartburn Without Hazardous Drugs

If you’re currently taking PPIs, it’s vital you do not quit cold turkey. This can result in severe rebound acid hypersecretion.40 Instead, spend time detoxifying and eliminating it from your system by gradually weaning yourself off the drug.

Once you are down to the lowest dose, begin substituting the medication with an over the counter H2 blocker, such as cimetidine or Tagamet. After taking the H2 blocker without the PPI for a couple of weeks, you can start weaning from these drugs as well.

In the process, begin introducing alternative options to reduce your heartburn. Although heartburn is painful, there are also long-term side effects from the chronic burning in the esophagus, including:41,42

  • Eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Peptic stricture
  • Erosive esophagitis

You have options at home to effectively treat heartburn, GERD and indigestion without using hazardous or habit-forming medications. I outline several, some of which will also improve your overall health, in “Heartburn Drugs Increase Mortality — How to Safely Address Indigestion.”

– Sources and References

Two Scientists Stumble Upon the Formation of Microscopic Galaxies, Black Holes, and Stars – Revolutionary Implications

© 10th October 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/two-scientists-stumble-upon-formation-microscopic-galaxies-black-holes-and-stars-s3
Posted on:  Thursday, June 4th 2020 at 9:45 am
Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020


Mark L. LeClair and Eric Dollard are two scientists and technologists who independently stumbled upon a category of phenomena that could revolutionize everything we once thought we knew about the origins of the universe and life, which may lead to technologies we could use to create a sustainable future for humanity. 

Below you will find two of the videos I discovered in the process of writing my book REGENERATE: Unlocking Your Body’s Radical Resilience Through the New Biology, which opened my mind to an entire new world of exciting if not revolutionary possibilities.

While REGENERATE may appear to be a conventional “health book,” chapter 3 is titled, “The New Biophysics: A Deep Dive into the Quantum Rabbit Hole of Esoteric Physiology,” and touches on topics most relevant to the epochal transitions we are presently in the midst of undergoing, such as moving away from fossil fuels.

First, is the video by Mark LeClair, CEO of Nanospire, LLC, wherein he describes the incredible implications of water cavitation, including the induction of a micro-stellar nucleosynthesis event, preceded by a micro-black hole formation.  

To fully grasp the importance of his findings, view his powerpoint presentation titled, “DISCOVERY OF MACROCATIONIC CRYSTALLINE H2O CAVITATION REENTRANT JETS & THEIR ROLE IN CAVITATION ZERO POINT ENERGY, FUSION & THE ORIGIN OF LIFE,” which he presented at The Seventh Annual Conference on the Physics, Chemistry & Biology of Water, October 18-21, 2012.

Next is the work of electrical engineer and theorist Eric Dollard, known by his followers as “Tesla 2.0,” who describes his accidental discovery of a minature galaxy through (skip to minute 10:00 to jump to the heart of it):

For those who would like to get a better sense of this man’s expertise, watch his astoundingly in depth, 3 hour long History and Theory of Electricity here.

Why am I sharing this information? It is beyond belief, is it not? But what if it happened, and what if it is happening all the time? Everything we thought we knew about the origin of matter, life, and this universe as taught within conventional institutions may be wrong — or, at least partially incorrect — as these anomalous events demand explanation if they are indeed real as described.

I’d love to hear your response to this information!

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

11 Things Better than Drugs or Supplements for Healing

© 28th September 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/7-natural-alternatives-better-drugs-health-and-healing-1
Posted on: Sunday, September 27th 2020 at 5:30 am
Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020

11 Things Better than Drugs or Supplements for Healing

Natural medicine doesn’t just involve “nutraceuticals,” but extends to modalities like yoga and acupuncture that an increasing body of peer-reviewed research shows can be superior to drugs

Natural medicine is an amazing field, full of inspiring stories and an ever-accumulating body of scientific research to support its increasingly popular views on health. In fact, at GreenMedInfo.health we specialize in dredging up from the National Library of Medicine’s 27-million citation deep, seemingly oceanic database, highly promising clinical pearls indicating not only the value of natural substances in disease prevention and treatment, but sometimes their clear superiority versus drugs. Considering correctly prescribed medications are one of the top 3 causes of death, what’s not to like about safe, effective food-based alternative like that?

But our project, and natural medicine at large, is not without its challenges, one of which is that it is quite easy to get caught up in the allopathic model of treating surface symptoms, albeit naturally. This ‘natural allopathy,’ if you will, entices people to look for ‘natural cure’ shortcuts and Band-Aids (‘nutraceuticals’) instead of address the deeper issues associated with avoiding, limiting and addressing environmental exposures, reducing stress, and improving diet and exercise, for instance. In a culture that pops hundreds of millions of doses of drugs and supplements on a daily basis, it is increasingly difficult to break free from the powerful psychological pull to ingest something — be it a natural or synthetic “magic pill”; its effects real or imagined — instead of address the underlying problems.

This is also why part of our project is to identify peer-reviewed published research from biomedical journals indicating that there are therapeutic actions, from walking to yoga, dietary changes to exercising, that are at least as effective and often superior to conventional drug-based treatments.

So, here is a good smattering of data that edifies the notion that sometimes, we do not need to “take anything” to stimulate our body’s innate self-healing abilities, as non-invasive therapies – including doing nothing (i.e. watchful waiting) — can accomplish favorable results:

  1. Colored light versus Benzyl peroxide for Acne: A combination of blue and red light irradiation therapy was found superior to 5% benzoyl peroxide in treating acne vulgaris without side effects. [i] Another study found blue light irradiation therapy alone as effective as 5% benzyl peroxide in the treatment of acne, but with fewer side effects.[ii]
  2. Dietary changes versus Drug Treatment for Hypertension: A high fiber, low sodium, low fat diet is superior to the beta-blocker drug metoprolol in hypertensive type 2 diabetic subjects. [iii]
  3. Acupuncture and moxibustion versus pharmaceutical treatment for Sudden Deafness: Acupuncture and moxibustion therapy was found to be superior in treating sudden deafness as compared with the routine drug-based therapy. [iv]
  4. Acupuncture versus Drug Treatment for treating Migraines: Acupuncture treatment exhibited greater effectiveness than drug therapy with flunarizine in the first months of therapy for migraine and with superior tolerability. [v]
  5. Dietary changes versus high-dose steroid for Crohn’s disease: An elemental diet is as effective as high dose steroid treatment in improving Crohn’s disease activity in children, while superior in supporting the growth of the children. [vi] Two additional studies found similar results in adults with mild-to-moderately active Crohn’s disease[vii] [viii]
  6. Aromatherapy massage versus Tylenol for Menstrual PainAromatherapy massage on the abdomen was found superior to Tylenol for alleviating menstrual pain in high school girls. [ix]
  7. Hypnosis versus Valium for AnxietyHypnosis during embryo transfer is as effective as diazepam in terms of pregnancy ratio and anxiolytic effects, but with fewer side effects. [x]
  8. Yoga technique versus Antidepressant Drug for Depression: Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (a rhythmic breathing technique) was found superior to the drug imipramine in the treatment of depression[xi]
  9. Yogic intervention versus Drug treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Yogic intervention consisting of poses and breathing exercises was found superior to conventional treatment in diarrhea-predominant IBS. [xii]
  10. Foot Reflexology versus Drug treatment for Insomnia: Foot reflexology (Wooden needle technique) was found superior to the drug Alprazolam in the treatment of insomnia[xiii]
  11. Watchful waiting versus Drug treatment for childhood Ear Infection: Watchful waiting compares favorably to immediate antibiotic treatment for some children with non-severe acute otitis media[xiv]

This sampling reflects only a minor subset of data within our Therapeutic Actions index, one of six databases on the GreenMedInfo.com open access site. Presently, we have 216 distinct actions indexed, which can be viewed on our Therapeutic Actions Display Page. You may be surprised how simple conscious acts such as chewing your food thoroughlylaughing or a walk in the forest can produce healing responses within the human body.

 


References

[i] P Papageorgiou, A Katsambas, A Chu. Phototherapy with blue (415 nm) and red (660 nm) light in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol. 2000 May;142(5):973-8. PMID: 10809858

[ii] Lúcia H F de Arruda, Vanessa Kodani, Antonio Bastos Filho, Carla Bassanezi Mazzaro. [A prospective, randomized, open and comparative study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of blue light treatment versus a topical benzoyl peroxide 5% formulation in patients with acne grade II and III]. An Bras Dermatol. 2009 Oct;84(5):463-8. PMID: 20098847

[iii] P J Pacy, P M Dodson, A J Kubicki, R F Fletcher, K G Taylor. Comparison of the hypotensive and metabolic effects of metoprolol therapy with a high fibre, low sodium, low fat diet in hypertensive type 2 diabetic subjects. Diabetes Res. 1984 Nov;1(4):201-7. PMID: 6099231

[iv] Xin-hua Fan, Ya-nan Ding, Xiang-hui Chang, Yu-lu Ouyang, Qiang Xie. [Comparative observation on acupuncture-moxibustion and western medication for treatment of sudden deafness]. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2003 Jan;180(1):263-9. PMID: 20942277

[v] Gianni Allais, Cristina De Lorenzo, Piero E Quirico, Gisella Airola, Giampiero Tolardo, Ornella Mana, Chiara Benedetto. Acupuncture in the prophylactic treatment of migraine without aura: a comparison with flunarizine. Bone. 2009 Nov 26. PMID: 12390610

[vi] I R Sanderson, S Udeen, P S Davies, M O Savage, J A Walker-Smith. Remission induced by an elemental diet in small bowel Crohn’s disease. Arch Dis Child. 1987 Feb;62(2):123-7. PMID: 3548602

[vii] M Okada, T Yao, T Yamamoto, K Takenaka, K Imamura, K Maeda, K Fujita. Controlled trial comparing an elemental diet with prednisolone in the treatment of active Crohn’s disease. Hepatogastroenterology. 1990 Feb;37(1):72-80. PMID: 2179093

[viii] G Zoli, M Carè, M Parazza, C Spanò, P L Biagi, M Bernardi, G Gasbarrini. A randomized controlled study comparing elemental diet and steroid treatment in Crohn’s disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1997 Aug;11(4):735-40. PMID: 9305483

[ix] Myung-Haeng Hur, Myeong Soo Lee, Ka-Yeon Seong, Mi-Kyoung Lee. Aromatherapy massage on the abdomen for alleviating menstrual pain in high school girls: a preliminary controlled clinical study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012 ;2012:187163. Epub 2011 Sep 22. PMID: 21949670

[x] Patrick Catoire, Laurent Delaunay, Thomas Dannappel, Dominique Baracchini, Sabine Marcadet-Fredet, Olivier Moreau, Luc Pacaud, Daniel Przyrowski, Emmanuel Marret. Hypnosis versus diazepam for embryo transfer: a randomized controlled study. Am J Clin Hypn. 2013 Apr ;55(4):378-86. PMID: 23724572

[xi] N Janakiramaiah, B N Gangadhar, P J Naga Venkatesha Murthy, M G Harish, D K Subbakrishna, A Vedamurthachar. Antidepressant efficacy of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) in melancholia: a randomized comparison with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and imipramine. J Affect Disord. 2000 Jan-Mar;57(1-3):255-9. PMID: 10708840

[xii] Indu Taneja, K K Deepak, G Poojary, I N Acharya, R M Pandey, M P Sharma. Yogic versus conventional treatment in diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized control study. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2004 Mar;29(1):19-33. PMID: 15077462

[xiii] Yu-ling Gong, Yan-bo Zhang, Chang Han, Ying-yong Jiang, Yuan Li, Shi-chang Chen, Zeng-yu Liu. [Clinical observation on therapeutic effect of the pressing plantar reflex area with wooden needle for treatment of patients with insomnia]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2009 Nov;29(11):935-7. PMID: 19994698

[xiv] David P McCormick, Tasnee Chonmaitree, Carmen Pittman, Kokab Saeed, Norman R Friedman, Tatsuo Uchida, Constance D Baldwin. Nonsevere acute otitis media: a clinical trial comparing outcomes of watchful waiting versus immediate antibiotic treatment. Pediatrics. 2005 Jun;115(6):1455-65. PMID: 15930204

 

Why Aren’t We Promoting Health to Combat COVID?


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/08/14/how-should-we-combat-the-coronavirus.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked     August 14, 2020


STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • SARS-CoV-2 is likely here to stay, which means we have to learn to live with it. Seeing how obesity dramatically increases your risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, your best bet is to lose weight and improve your general health through healthy diet and exercise
  • Even mild obesity may boost COVID-19 severity. Patients with mild obesity had a 2.5 times greater risk of respiratory failure and a five times greater risk of being admitted to an ICU compared to non-obese patients
  • Inflammation triggered by obesity may be responsible for a threefold greater risk of pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs) in COVID-19 patients who are obese
  • Dysregulated lipid synthesis triggered by obesity may aggravate inflammation in the lungs, contributing to increased disease severity during respiratory viral infections
  • Processed foods, junk foods and soft drinks are key culprits in the rise of obesity and chronic diseases that in turn increase the likelihood of death from COVID-19

It’s an unfortunate fact that health officials and pandemic response authorities, by and large, are completely ignoring the role a healthy lifestyle plays in the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing instead, almost exclusively, on the necessity for a vaccine.

According to Reuters,1 the U.S. government is planning to launch an “overwhelming” COVID-19 vaccine campaign come November. An unnamed “senior White House administration official” is quoted saying:2

“The fine line we are walking is getting the American people very excited about vaccines and missing expectations versus having a bunch of vaccines in the warehouse and not as many people want to get it. You may not hear a lot about promoting vaccines over the airwaves in August and September but you’ll be overwhelmed by it come November.”

But is a vaccine really going to be the answer people are hoping for? For example, many have bought into the mainstream narrative that masks are here to stay until or unless there’s a vaccine, and getting vaccinated would mean the end to mask mandates.

Considering the fact that neither masks nor vaccines offer significant protection against the virus, chances are such hopes will get dashed. Maria Elena Bottazzi, a COVID-19 vaccine developer at Baylor College of Medicine, recently warned3 that social distancing and face masks will likely still be required even after a vaccine becomes available, as the vaccine will not offer 100% protection against infection.

So, don’t be fooled. Vaccines will be in addition to what we are told to do now, not a replacement. Even Moderna’s CEO Stephanie Bancel stated4 that if the vaccine reaches 90% effectiveness, which is a beyond overly optimistic projection, people with high-risk health conditions will need to continue wearing masks.

In addition to not necessarily removing the “need” for masks and social distancing mandates in the future, the novel mRNA vaccines being developed against COVID-19 may also be an autoimmune disorder disaster in the making, as explained in “The Well-Known Hazards of Coronavirus Vaccines” and “Gates Tries to Justify Side Effects of Fast-Tracked Vaccine.”

SARS-CoV-2 Is Here to Stay

The Atlantic succinctly stated the truth of the matter in the August 4, 2020, article, “The Coronavirus Is Never Going Away”:5

“If there was ever a time when this coronavirus could be contained, it has probably passed. One outcome is now looking almost certain: This virus is never going away … We will probably be living with this virus for the rest of our lives …

What does the future of COVID-19 look like? That will depend, says Yonatan Grad, on the strength and duration of immunity against the virus. Grad, an infectious-disease researcher at Harvard, and his colleagues have modeled6 a few possible trajectories.

If immunity lasts only a few months, there could be a big pandemic followed by smaller outbreaks every year. If immunity lasts closer to two years, COVID-19 could peak every other year …

In SARS, antibodies … wane after two years. Antibodies to a handful of other coronaviruses that cause common colds fade in just a year. ‘The faster protection goes away, the more difficult for any project to try to move toward eradication,’ Grad told me.”

Many who have steadfastly isolated themselves for months on end and dutifully wear a mask everywhere they go probably do not want to hear this. If the virus isn’t going away no matter what we do, then there are only two choices: Continue social distancing and mask-wearing for the remainder of our days, or return to life as it was pre-COVID, when influenza seasons were met with blasé equanimity.

Click here to read more

Post-COVID World Needs to Focus on Health

For many, neither of these options is satisfactory. They are, however, reality. COVID-19 is unlikely to be eradicated, and if you haven’t contracted it already, you likely will at some point.

At present, it’s still unclear whether you can contract it more than once, but if that’s the case, then flu season will likely include the possibility of COVID-19 outbreaks as well.

Facing reality head-on is the best way forward, if you ask me, and that means your best bet is to get yourself into good shape through diet and exercise. You simply cannot hide from this virus, for the simple reason that you cannot stop breathing.

At this point, it may be worth reminding yourself that life involves the risk of illness and death. Every day of every year of your life, you face the possibility of illness, be it an infectious disease or chronic illness.

Each year of your life you’ve faced the possibility of influenza, for example. Maybe a mild case, maybe a really serious one. Regardless, you’ve probably never considered isolating yourself for months each year and giving up on doing the things you love for fear you might get the flu and die.

Despite the fact that uptake of seasonal influenza vaccines has seen an uptick thanks to various mandates, the flu continues to circulate and affects large numbers of vaccinated individuals every year. Influenza has not been eradicated, and the flu vaccine has consistently been shown to provide very little in terms of protection against it.

In all likelihood, that’s where we’ll be with COVID-19 as well. The good news is that, much like with influenza, your chances of staying well, or only getting a mild case, are primarily dependent on your immune function, and this is something you can do something about.

Obesity Is a Significant Risk Factor for Severe COVID-19

We now have a significant amount of data showing that certain comorbidities raise your risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death. Among the top ones is obesity, so addressing excess weight will go a long way toward lowering your risk.

In the U.K., obesity is now being targeted as part of the country’s coronavirus prevention strategy.7 In a recent announcement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he intends to ban TV junk food advertising before 9 p.m. and limit in-store promotions. Online ads for unhealthy foods may also be banned.8

Johnson’s decision was in large part influenced by his own bout with COVID-19, which he believes was made more serious by his excess weight. Several studies support his suspicion. As noted in the July 13, 2020, issue of the Journal of Virology:9

“Over the years, humans have adopted sedentary lifestyles and dietary patterns have shifted to excessive food consumption and poor nutrition. Overnutrition has led to the constellation of metabolic abnormalities that not only contributes to metabolic reprogramming but also limits host innate and adaptive immunity.

Impaired immune responses and chronic inflammation in metabolically diseased microenvironments provide the ideal conditions for viral exploitation of host cells and enhanced viral pathogenesis.”

Huntington Officials Urge Residents to Lose Weight

In the U.S., few officials have addressed the proverbial elephant in the room. The town of Huntington in New York stands out as a rare exception. As reported by Bill Maher in the featured video, Huntington officials have urged all 200,000 residents to “go on a diet because [with] COVID-19, you’re twice as likely to have a poor outcome if you’re obese.”

As noted by Maher, obesity has always killed us, albeit slowly. “Mixed with COVID, it kills you fast,” he says, adding:

“Why not an all-out campaign to educate the public on the dangers of a diet of sugary, chemical-laden crap? … Why not campaign to get decent food into poorer neighborhoods? Why not for every PSA for masks, a PSA for a recipe of a healthy meal?

I think so many lives could have been saved if at the very beginning of this crisis the medical establishment had made a more concerted effort to tell Americans, ‘While you’re in lockdown, getting free money for not working, you need to do something too.’ Even the poorest person could switch out soda at meals for water …

A national campaign to improve health could have improved our chances against this disease [and] made us feel better about ourselves to boot. But it was never even mentioned … We cannot have body positivity be a third rail anymore … This issue is too fundamental to who lives and who dies.”

Food Industry Needs to Do Better Moving Forward

Hopefully, the U.S. will eventually follow in the U.K.’s footsteps and take action against junk food advertisements. Clearly, advertising works, and it’s not helping anyone make the right choices for their health. In the meantime, you’d be wise to take matters into your own hands.

There’s little doubt that processed foods, junky snacks and soft drinks are key culprits in the rise of obesity and chronic diseases that also inflate the risk of death from COVID-19. As such, they should be the first to be eliminated from your diet moving forward.

If anything good is to come of this pandemic, it would be the widespread recognition of the impact obesity has not just on chronic diseases, but also on viral contagions such as SARS-CoV-2. A recent editorial published in the BMJ highlights the importance of diet and the significant yet hidden influence the processed food industry has had in the COVID-19 pandemic:10

“It is now clear that the food industry shares the blame not only for the obesity pandemic but also for the severity of COVID-19 disease and its devastating consequences.

During the COVID-19 pandemic an increase in food poverty, disruptions to supply chains, and panic buying may have limited access to fresh foods, thus tilting the balance towards a greater consumption of highly processed foods and those with long shelf lives that are usually high in salt, sugar, and saturated fat.

Moreover, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the food industry has launched campaigns and corporate social responsibility initiatives, often with thinly veiled tactics using the outbreak as a marketing opportunity (for example, by offering half a million ‘smiles’ in the form of doughnuts to NHS staff).”

They not only call on the food industry to immediately stop promoting unhealthy food and drinks, but also call on governments to force reformulation of junk foods to better support health. With research showing that being obese doubles the risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19,11,12 the authors noted:13

These findings suggest that modification of lifestyle may help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and could be a useful adjunct to other interventions, such as social distancing and shielding of high risk.”

Johns Hopkins University researchers have also suggested obesity might eventually shift the burden of COVID-19 onto younger patients, as a dataset of 265 COVID-19 patients showed younger individuals admitted to the hospital were more likely to be obese.14

Even Mild Obesity Raises COVID-19 Risks

According to recent research, even mild obesity can influence COVID-19 severity. Researchers from the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna in Italy analyzed 482 COVID-19 patients hospitalized between March 1 and April 20, 2020,15 concluding “Obesity is a strong, independent risk factor for respiratory failure, admission to the ICU and death among COVID-19 patients.”

Using body mass index (BMI) to define obesity, the researchers found an increased risk for more severe COVID-19 infection started at a BMI of 30, which is considered “mild” obesity (a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight). Lead study author Dr. Matteo Rottoli said in a news release:16

“Health care practitioners should be aware that people with any grade of obesity, not just the severely obese, are a population at risk. Extra caution should be used for hospitalized COVID-19 patients with obesity, as they are likely to experience a quick deterioration towards respiratory failure, and to require intensive care admission.”

Specifically, patients with mild obesity had a 2.5 times greater risk of respiratory failure and a five times greater risk of being admitted to an ICU compared to nonobese patients. But get this, those with a BMI of over 35 were 12 times more likely to die from COVID-19.17

“Whereas a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 identifies a population of patients at high risk for severe illness, a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 dramatically increases the risk of death,” the researchers explained.18

Risk of Death Increases Along With Weight

A July 2020 report19 by Public Health England also reviews research demonstrating how excess weight affects COVID-19 outcomes. For example, one systematic review found that, compared to healthy weight patients, patients with a BMI above 25 were:

  • 3.68 times more likely to die
  • 6.98 times more likely to need respiratory support
  • 2.03 times more likely to suffer critical illness

The report also highlights data showing the risk of hospitalization, intensive care treatment and death progressively increase as your BMI goes up. As for how obesity raises risks during viral infections, the chronic, low-grade inflammation it causes is a likely factor.

Inflammation triggered by obesity is also thought to be responsible for the threefold greater risk of pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs) seen in obese COVID-19 patients.20,21 Obesity-related dysregulation of lipid synthesis can also aggravate lung inflammation, thereby contributing to increased disease severity in viral respiratory infections specifically.22

In addition to that, excess body weight and fat deposition around the internal organs put pressure on your diaphragm, which makes it more difficult to breathe when you have a respiratory infection.23 Other mechanisms by which obesity may increase COVID-19 severity, include:24

  • Increasing leptin resistance and lipotoxicity, as the accumulation of lipids may be exploited by viruses to enhance viral entry and replication
  • A combined effect of chronic systemic inflammation and the induction of a cytokine storm

Losing Weight Will Lower Your COVID-19 Risk

The take-home message here is that if you are obese, even if only mildly so, focusing on getting down to a healthy weight may help you ward off viral illnesses, including COVID-19. Losing weight will also help you avoid other obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease — all of which, by the way, raise your risk of COVID-19 complications and death.

According to a study by The Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy’s national health authority,25 more than 99% of fatalities from COVID-19 occurred among people who had underlying medical conditions. Among that 99%, 76.1% had high blood pressure, 35.5% had diabetes and 33% had heart disease either alone or as comorbidities.26

One of the most powerful strategies to optimize your weight is to restrict your eating window to six to eight hours each day, making sure to eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime. This is known as time-restricted eating or intermittent fasting, and is a powerful intervention to reduce insulin resistance and restore metabolic flexibility.

With respect to diet recommendations, my experience is consistent with a cyclical ketogenic diet being highly effective to restore metabolic flexibility and reduce insulin resistance.

This involves radically limiting carbs (replacing them with healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein) until you’re close to or at your ideal weight, as this will allow your body to start burning fat as its primary fuel and to increase the sensitivity of your insulin receptors.

Most people use carbs as their primary fuel source (thanks to excessive and frequent carb intake). They have lost the ability to effectively burn fat for fuel, which in turn leads to metabolic dysfunction, insulin resistance and weight gain. Once you have regained your ideal body weight, then you can cycle carbs back in a few times a week.

One of the best books written on this subject is my classic “Fat for Fuel.” If you haven’t read it, then you are in for a treat, as COVID-19 is the catalyst that will motivate you to not only read the book but apply its radical metabolic benefits.

Additionally, get regular exercise each week and increase physical movement throughout your waking hours, with the goal of sitting less than three hours a day. Making sure you’re getting sufficient sleep (typically eight hours for most adults) and tending to your emotional health are also important factors that can influence your weight, general health and immune function.

Chronic stress, for instance, may increase your risk for visceral fat gain over time,27 which means addressing your stress levels is imperative for maintaining your ideal weight. Taking steps to lead a healthy lifestyle overall will have a snowball effect, helping you to reach a healthy weight while also bolstering your resilience against infection and disease.